The Triumph Of Love

by Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller

By love are blest the gods on high,

Frail man becomes a deity

When love to him is given;

'Tis love that makes the heavens shine

With hues more radiant, more divine,

And turns dull earth to heaven!



In Pyrrha's rear (so poets sang

In ages past and gone),

The world from rocky fragments sprang--

Mankind from lifeless stone.



Their soul was but a thing of night,

Like stone and rock their heart;

The flaming torch of heaven so bright

Its glow could ne'er impart.



Young loves, all gently hovering round,

Their souls as yet had never bound

In soft and rosy chains;

No feeling muse had sought to raise

Their bosoms with ennobling lays,

Or sweet, harmonious strains.



Around each other lovingly

No garlands then entwined;

The sorrowing springs fled toward the sky,

And left the earth behind.



From out the sea Aurora rose

With none to hail her then;

The sun unhailed, at daylight's close,

In ocean sank again.



In forests wild, man went astray,

Misled by Luna's cloudy ray--

He bore an iron yoke;

He pined not for the stars on high,

With yearning for a deity

No tears in torrents broke.



.....



But see! from out the deep-blue ocean

Fair Venus springs with gentle motion

The graceful Naiad's smiling band

Conveys her to the gladdened strand,



A May-like, youthful, magic power

Entwines, like morning's twilight hour,

Around that form of godlike birth,

The charms of air, sea, heaven, and earth.



The day's sweet eye begins to bloom

Across the forest's midnight gloom;

Narcissuses, their balm distilling,

The path her footstep treads are filling.



A song of love, sweet Philomel,

Soon carolled through the grove;

The streamlet, as it murmuring fell,

Discoursed of naught but love,



Pygmalion! Happy one! Behold!

Life's glow pervades thy marble cold!

Oh, LOVE, thou conqueror all-divine,

Embrace each happy child of thine!



.....



By love are blest the gods on high,--

Frail man becomes a deity

When love to him is given;

'Tis love that makes the heavens shine

With hues more radiant, more divine,

And turns dull earth to heaven!



.....



The gods their days forever spend

In banquets bright that have no end,

In one voluptuous morning-dream,

And quaff the nectar's golden stream.



Enthroned in awful majesty

Kronion wields the bolt on high:

In abject fear Olympus rocks

When wrathfully he shakes his locks.



To other gods he leaves his throne,

And fills, disguised as earth's frail son,

The grove with mournful numbers;

The thunders rest beneath his feet,

And lulled by Leda's kisses sweet,

The Giant-Slayer slumbers.



Through the boundless realms of light

Phoebus' golden reins, so bright,

Guide his horses white as snow,

While his darts lay nations low.

But when love and harmony

Fill his breast, how willingly

Ceases Phoebus then to heed

Rattling dart and snow-white steed!



See! Before Kronion's spouse

Every great immortal bows;

Proudly soar the peacock pair

As her chariot throne they bear,

While she decks with crown of might

Her ambrosial tresses bright,



Beauteous princess, ah! with fear

Quakes before thy splendor, love,

Seeking, as he ventures near,

With his power thy breast to move!

Soon from her immortal throne

Heaven's great queen must fain descend,

And in prayer for beauty's zone,

To the heart-enchainer bend!



.....



By love are blest the gods on high,

Frail man becomes a deity

When love to him is given;

'Tis love that makes the heavens shine

With hues more radiant, more divine,

And turns dull earth to heaven!



.....



'Tis love illumes the realms of night,

For Orcus dark obeys his might,

And bows before his magic spell

All-kindly looks the king of hell

At Ceres' daughter's smile so bright,--

Yes--love illumes the realms of night!



In hell were heard, with heavenly sound,

Holding in chains its warder bound,

Thy lays, O Thracian one!

A gentler doom dread Minos passed,

While down his cheeks the tears coursed fast

And e'en around Megaera's face

The serpents twined in fond embrace,

The lashes' work seemed done.



Driven by Orpheus' lyre away,

The vulture left his giant-prey [8];

With gentler motion rolled along

Dark Lethe and Cocytus' river,

Enraptured Thracian, by thy song,--

And love its burden was forever!



By love are blest the gods on high,

Frail man becomes a deity

When love to him is given;

'Tis love that makes the heavens shine

With hues more radiant, more divine,

And turns dull earth to heaven!



.....



Wherever Nature's sway extends,

The fragrant balm of love descends,

His golden pinions quiver;

If 'twere not Venus' eye that gleams

Upon me in the moon's soft beams,

In sunlit hill or river,--

If 'twere not Venus smiles on me

From yonder bright and starry sea,



Not stars, not sun, not moonbeams sweet,

Could make my heart with rapture beat.

'Tis love alone that smilingly

Peers forth from Nature's blissful eye,

As from a mirror ever!



Love bids the silvery streamlet roll

More gently as it sighs along,

And breathes a living, feeling soul

In Philomel's sweet plaintive song;

'Tis love alone that fills the air

With streams from Nature's lute so fair.



Thou wisdom with the glance of fire,

Thou mighty goddess, now retire,

Love's power thou now must feel!

To victor proud, to monarch high,

Thou ne'er hast knelt in slavery,--

To love thou now must kneel!



Who taught thee boldly how to climb

The steep, but starry path sublime,

And reach the seats immortal?

Who rent the mystic veil in twain,

And showed thee the Elysian plain

Beyond death's gloomy portal?

If love had beckoned not from high,

Had we gained immortality?

If love had not inflamed each thought,

Had we the master spirit sought?

'Tis love that guides the soul along

To Nature's Father's heavenly throne



By love are blest the gods on high,

Frail man becomes a deity

When love to him is given;

'Tis love that makes the heavens shine

With hues more radiant, more divine,

And turns dull earth to heaven!